RALEIGH COUNTY HISTORICAL SECTION
1850-1950 Raleight County's 100th Anniversary.
Beckley Post-Herald. Saturday, August 26, 1950
Contributed by: Deanna
Cirtsville Community Was Settled Over 120 Years Ago; Richard Maynor one
of the Pioneers in that area. By: P.C. Maynor
My great, great-grandfather, Richard Tucker Maynor, owned a large boundary of
land on Smith's River, in Patrick County, Va., at the mouth of Bowers Creek near
Fairy Stone Park.
He had six sons and five daughters. His wife's name was Annie. He died in 1798.
His son, Isaiah Maynor, my great-grandfather, had seven sons, five of whom went
to Kentucky and Tennessee while two came to West Virginia.
My grandfather, Richard Maynor, was born in Patrick County in 1799 and
married Nancy Belcher on January 11, 1822. He died in 1881.
He settled at Sweeneysburg about 1830. John Bailey had settled there about
1827. John Bailey and my grandmother were half brother and sister and I imagine
grandfather followed John to Sweeneysburg.
He had a son, James Maynor, who died and was buried there, probably the first
man buried in the section. You will find his grave at the west end of the grave-
yard with a rough stone broken in two at the head. It is not known how long he
lived there but he came to Dixon's Branch and bought 235 acres of land from
Sparriel Bailey, including both branches.
He first built a house near where Luther Vass now lives. Later on he built a
large, two story house on the left hand fork in the flat above where John Evans
now lives. "Built Water Mill". When he first settled there he built a water mill
near where Jeff Spangler now lives, near a buckeye tree. He died in 1881. He
had five sons and three daughters.
John Maynor married Martha Scarbrough in 1853; George W. Maynor was
married to Sarah A. Johnson on July 14, 1867; William Maynor married Margaret
Maynor on an unknown date. James Maynor, single, died at Sweeneysburg,
while Creed Maynor, also single, was shot by a confederate soldier. He was at
John Stover's house and they saw soldiers coming and they all ran. When the
soldiers halted them, the old man stopped but Creed ran on and a soldier shot
him. He was just a boy.
Sallie Maynor married Jesse Stover and they moved to Oak Hill, Ohio; they died
and were buried there. Elizabeth Maynor married John E. Kidd while Jane
Maynor married Swinfield (Chub) Maynor in 1856. When he got his license
he gave his residence as Tennessee.
"Settled at Skelton". Now getting back to Joseph Maynor, my grandfather's
brother. He came here some time after my grandfather and first settled near
Skelton, in the Warden settlement. Later on he moved to Sweeneysburg and
married Mary Stanley in 1823 at Rocky Mount in Franklin County, Va. They
had four sons, Clark, Thomas, Swinfield and Peyton. She died and he was
married again, to Elizabeth Stone, in 1835. They had no children.
He went to Kentucky and married a Lowe. She was the mother of Dupe L.
Maynor, Columbus, Margaret and Mary Maynor. Thomas Maynor married
Celia Williams in 1855. She was the daughter of Lewis Williams, whose
father was "Lonesome Dave" Williams.
Dupe L. Maynor married her sister, Sian Williams in 1861. Swinfield Maynor
married Jane Maynor in 1856. Clark Maynor married Martha Stover; Peyton
Maynor married Elizabeth Harrison, of Rocky Mount in 1857; Columbus Maynor
married Louisa Phillips in 1874. She died in the Army and is buried somewhere
in the northern part of this state.
"One Lawyer". Margaret Maynor married William Maynor; Mary Maynor married
Capt. Charley Stover. Peyton Maynor was killed at the battle of the Seven Pines
and was buried there. He had one son, Joe Clark Maynor, who became a famous
lawyer and belonged to the firm of Maynor, Duncan and Matthews. He was
chief cousel of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and later on became judge.
He moved from Big Stone Gap, Va., to Corbin, Ky. and died about 1914. He was
buried at Corgin.
Joseph Maynor and Richard Maynor had three sons, all of whom were in the
Civil War and only one of Joseph's sons came back. That was Columbus. He
and George, William Uncle John belonged to the 7th West Virginia Cavalry.
They were in four major battles--The Battle of Winchester, the Battle of New
Creek, the Battle of Droop Mountain and the Battle of Cloyd's Farm in Virginia
as well as some minor battles.
On the Salem Raid, at Salem, Virginia, they burned the Confederate commissary,
tore up the railroad and came back by way of Fincastle and Covington with the
Rebel army watching for them on every road. They swam the Jackson River and
followed old roads with the temperature at zero. They escaped.
"Captured by Rebels". My father and uncle were home on furlough at Dixon's
Branch. One morning they woke up and the house was surrounded by Rebel
soldiers. The soldiers captured them and took them to Dublin Depot and con-
fined them in an old log house.
General McCausland told them he was going to hold them as hostages for a
man the Union Army had captured and if they shot that man he was going to
shoot them and 10 more, the first he caught. They gave them a small piece
of corn bread and water once a day and took all their clothes and gave them
an old pair of pants and a shirt. This house had a door like a stable door with
a steeple and a chain on the outside and a guard and when they would all get
quiet they would put a plank in a crack and lie down and to to sleep. One day
my father noticed a chink in the wall. They drove a rock in the place and the
rock was cracked. That night they waited until the guard went to sleep, and
went to work, and worked this rock out. They just could reach the pin and
lifted it out and walked out and took to the mountains.
"Traveled Bare-Footed". They were bare-footed and traveled by way of the
Narrows of New River, mostly of a night for three weeks and had nothing to
eat but raw wheat that they had rubbed out. They came through by Shady
Spring and reached home almost skeletons.
This land belonged to the Reid survey of 17,000 acres. They sold 4,000 acres
to Eber Maddy for $1,100. Archibald Sweeny bought a large track of land at
Sweeneysburg from Joe Carper, the gunsmith, in 1802. He died in 1855 and
Richard Maynor married his widow, Lucinda Sweeney, in 1858. The old Maynor
residence was on the right hand fork and the George Kidd place was near a cold
spring on the road to Sand Lick. This was an Indian camping ground, where the
Indians painted the trees of which my father remembered and that is why is was
called Paint Creek, it was claimed.
At that time there were three Indian graves just out from where Joe Sweeney
lived. He said when he was a boy they were plain. Also, my father spoke of
them. "First Settler". Now getting back to Cirtsville, I don't know which came
first, my grandfather or Lonesome Dave Williams. He came from Giles County,
Va., and was born in 1776 and died in 1860. He had seven sons and three
daughters that I know of. He settled where I.G. Wriston now lives. His son,
Allen, built a house where Mollie Davis lived. James Williams built a house at
the Gillam place and Lonesome Dave's son-in-law, Martin Phillips, lived at the
John Davis place. One of his daughters married Irvin Stover. One married a
man named Bradshaw and one married a Lafferty. She was the mother of
John Lafferty and Mattison Williams's wife. He died and she married Martin
Lonesome Dave moved into a house on the Amos Williams place and John Goode
built across the creek opposite Alfred Tyree's and died and was buried there.
Then his son, Allen, moved in and when he moved out William E. Feazell came
from Rocky Mount, Va., about the close of the Civil War and moved in. He was
a preacher, doctor, schoolteacher, surveyor and the best fisherman in the county.
He had four sons and three daughters. When he moved out James Craddock
came from Patrick County about 1870 and bought the land adjoining my father.
He had a son Charles who was married and he moved into that house and his
eldest daughter, Iowa, was born there.
So the house that John Goode built came in handy. "Earlier Tribe". Now there
is evidence that there was a tribe here ahead of us for on the ridge adjoining
the Dupee L. Maynor place and the John Maynor place, there was a medium
sized mound and on the Amos Williams place. He was having some grubbing
done up from the graveyard and went out on Sunday, looking at the grubbing.
He had a little dog with him and the dog began to bark, under a flat rock over
which a large dogwood had grown. He got a mattock and cut the roots and
turned it out and raised the rock and found a pot made of some kind of clay.
Garland Williams said when he came back Monday morning the pot was in
the yard and you could see the print of the gold, but Amos told me the pot had
nothing in it. Nevertheless, the rumors continued to spread as to who buried
it and for what purpose. We will never know.
The first post office was called Boyd and was run by Henry Woolwine. Here,
you could buy a postage stamp for three eggs. It was in Fayette County and
derived its name from a man by the name of Boyd who lived at the mouth of
Boyd's Branch. He lived where Will Humphrey lived and had to go to Malden
for his salt and his groceries. He had a horse and a one-horse wagon and on
one trip he loaded up and on his way home his horse gave out and he turned
in a field and caught another man's horse and drove him home.
The sheriff followed him with a warrant, tried him and sent him to the peni-
tentiary and he died there.
Three of Early County Families Closely Related "The Stovers, Williams and
Harpers are related to about a third of the people in Raleigh County," says
D.B. Stover, 85 year-old Clear Creek resident.
Only living son of the late Lewis Stover, he has spent most of his life farming
"Back about 1880," Stover says, Sam and Peter Knott of Springfield, Ohio, came
into Clear Fork District and bought up all the walnut timber at $1 per thousand
feet. When they sold and measured it they told the old people how much there
was and they took their word for it."
In 1890, Stover recalls, "Guy Graves of Cleveland, Ohio, bought up all the
poplar at $1 per thousand, or $1 per tree. That was a lot of lumber for only a
"When I was a boy," Stover remembers, "there were no frame houses on Coal
River. They were all log and the only two men in the whole country that owned
cooking stoves were Capt. William Dunbar and Sam McGinnis. Everybody else
did their cooking over the fireplace."
But getting back to the Stover, Williams, and Harper clans, Stover says that the
families are so widespread in Clear Fork District that about half of the people
there are related to the three families.
"The first Stover to come into Raleigh County was Jacob Stover who settled on
Coal River about 1820. He had a large family. His boys were Jacob Stover of
Coal River, John Stover of Spruce Mountain, Obediah of Fulton Creek, Lewis of
Whitestick Creek between Mount Tabor and Spangler's Mill, Abe on San Branch,
Sampson on Clear Fork of Coal River, and Jubal of Sand Lick."
Jacob's son are the progenitors of nearly all the Stovers in Raleigh County.
John Stover, a son of the early Jacob and grandfather of Mr. Stover, married
Nancy Harper, a daughter of Joseph Harper, the first Harper in the county.
"Joe Harper's sons were Jacob Harper, who was killed by Confederate soldiers
soon after the war. Ham Harper, Daniel Harper and Sam Harper, who moved
to Wyoming County.
"The Williams are related to the Stovers through one of the Stover girls who
married Lewis Williams," he said.
From the Beckley Herald Bicenteniel Edition, 26 Aug 1950